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Green ECO Paint

EPA's Office of Research and Development's "Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study" (Volumes I through IV, completed in 1985) found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas.  TEAM studies indicated that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.

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There are all-natural paints available which do not contain any petrochemical products, but they may contain naturally occurring VOCs such as citrus-based solvent d, l-limonene, turpentine, tung oil, or pine resins.3 These natural VOCs can also cause reactions such as watery eyes or respiratory problems in people sensitive to these chemicals. Most natural paints are made in Germany using solvents from citrus and other plant oils. They also contain plant resins, finely ground minerals, and earth pigments. These paints may cost more, take longer to dry, and may require more coats than latex paint, but they are not as toxic.



In searching through paint colors I began to notice that some companies had claims such as “Low VOC”, “Kid-Friendly” and “Environmentally Friendly”. Now I had never been one to be totally green, but these labels got me thinking about our paint. I looked into it a bit further and found out that interior paints release “Volatile Organic Compounds”, (otherwise known as VOC), into your home. These VOC’s are produced by a concoction of chemicals and components in the paint. Paint itself contains three basic things: pigment for color and hiding powder, a binding agent to hold it to the surface being painted, and a carrier to keep it all in liquid form. Now these three things in and of themselves are not the issue, but the chemicals that are used to perform each basic thing mix together and then release VOC’s into the air we breathe. Once emitted into the air, these compounds can actually stick around for approximately one month to many years after they are applied





















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